Things to Do

Texans Call Out the Best Hiking Spots in the State [WATCH]

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Tony Maples Photography


Travel is big bucks in Texas. The folks at reported that 220 million people visited the Lone Star State in 2012, generating 13% or $65 million of the state’s GDP. We can only imagine that the figure has increased since then. But it’s not all about cowboy boots and barbecue (although there’s nothing wrong with that). Sometimes the best kind of boots to don when you’re in Texas are those of the hiking variety.

Video: YouTube/Texas Country Reporter

The rivers, lakes, scenery, and parks draw nature enthusiasts, fishermen and women, canoers, kayakers, birders, campers, and hikers. There’s just something about Texas that makes you want to get outside. And what better way to explore Texas, really, then by foot. You can meander through the piney woods, or climb for miles among canyons the color of sunsets. The Texas Hill country presents its own unique landscape spread through with ranchlands, big skies, fields of wildflowers, and rolling, rocky hills.

The desert lands of far West Texas call hikers to explore, too. Rugged and lonely, dotted with cacti, creosote, and yucca, its desolate beauty slowly seeps into your skin. Hidden gems that get little national attention like Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, or Palo Duro Canyon among many others provide pleasant surprises and loads of adventure for outdoor enthusiasts.

And hiking is relatively inexpensive. Park fees are cheap. All you need is a map, a backpack with food and plenty of water, a hiking partner, and good sturdy hiking shoes. Plus, hiking is good for people of all ages and skill levels. You can go for a few hours or get lost for a few days. Check out this video from the Texas Country Reporter to see where Texans say getting your boots dirty is worth the trip.